- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2015

HELLO MANHATTAN

Bright lights are calling, so rev up Air Force One. President Obama flew to Manhattan on Friday for a private Democratic Party fundraiser, stayed overnight - followed by lunch in Grammercy Park on Saturday, and the big event. That would be a Broadway matinee showing of “Hamilton,” a hip-hop musical version of the life of Alexander Hamilton, a production first lady Michelle Obama saw off-Broadway in April. But heavens. Rich and restless New Yorkers used to exiting the city for the weekend via helicopter are vexed; the presidential visit shuts down private air traffic around Manhattan for 24 hours.

Obama has finally gone too far for some wealthy New York liberals: He’s ruined their weekend getaway to the Hamptons,” notes BizPac Review political correspondent Michael Schaus. “Obama’s day and a half of hip-hop and DNC fundraising is expected to make life tough for wealthy residents who were planning to take their private choppers out to the Hamptons, Fire Island, or Nantucket. Maybe this is all part of Obama’s war on the top one percent?”

10 GOP HOPEFULS HUSTLE TO IOWA

They go to talk of heartland matters, and also size up the competition: 10 Republican hopefuls descend on Ames, Iowa on Saturday for The Family Leadership Summit, a daylong, free public event meant to ” inspire, motivate, and educate conservatives regarding worldview application and the most pressing issues facing America’s families,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader — a pro-life organization which strengthens families, organizers say, by inspiring Christ-like leadership in the home, the church and the government. The speaker’s roster includes Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio; Govs. Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal; Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

The event is not typical. Pollster Frank Luntz will sit onstage with each candidate for a half-hour or so, asking or fielding public questions that resonate with a faith-driven audience set to number about 2,700. There will be no teleprompters around, only a pair of microphones and some potential telling moments.


SEE ALSO: Inside federal prison, Obama urges justice system reform


And where is everyone else? Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina will be attending the Maverick PAC Annual Conference at the glitzy Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Sen. Rand Paul will be in Texas at a Stand with Rand rally in Houston; George Pataki and Gov. Chris Christie have no events planned, though Mr. Christie heads to South Carolina on Monday.

FIVE DEMOCRATIC HOPEFULS HUSTLE TO IOWA

An unprecedented gathering of Democratic presidential hopefuls arrive in Cedar Rapids on Friday for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Celebration, a sold-out dinner for 1,200 fans and large enough to be staged at a major convention center. On hand: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Sen. Bernard Sanders, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee. C-SPAN will cover the event beginning at 8 p.m.

Alas, it is not a happy polling time for Mrs. Clinton, however. A new Associated Press poll finds a startling slide in her numbers, even among Democrats who “view her as less decisive and inspiring than when she launched her presidential campaign just three months ago,” note analysts Lisa Lerer and Emily Swanson.

“The survey offers a series of warning signs for the leading Democratic candidate. Most troubling, perhaps, for her prospects are questions about her compassion for average Americans, a quality that fueled President Obama’s two White House victories,” they write.

A RON PAUL MOMENT

“Are you ready to effect major political change and reclaim your lost liberties? Are you ready to make the politicians finally listen and undo the harm they have done over the years? The Liberty Movement in our country has grown by leaps and bounds If you’re ready to join the fight to pressure the new class of politicians to defend our liberties, you must attend this class. You will learn: How to be respected and feared by the political class. How mass movements fail and why. How to choose battles that will grow your organization. How to pass and defeat legislation. How to target legislators who vote against your bill and which to go after first.”

Ron Paul’s description of his One-Day Political Leadership School, scheduled in York, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

LET’S CONSULT CONGRESS

Voters are only lukewarm when it comes to the nuclear agreement between the U.S. and Iran finalized earlier this week — while two thirds appear particularly troubled by evidence of the “imperial presidency” at work on the global stage.

“Many in Congress oppose the deal, but President Obama declared earlier this week that he would veto any attempt to block it. However, 65 percent of voters believe any agreement the Obama administration makes with Iran regarding the Iranian nuclear program requires the approval of Congress,” says a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday. “That’s up from 60 percent in March just after 47 GOP senators went around the president and sent a letter to Tehran expressing their concerns over the negotiations.”

Only 18 percent say the Obama administration does not need any input from Congress, with the rest of the respondents unsure. The findings also reveal that 39 percent of voters favor the agreement, with 42 percent opposed and 18 percent undecided. “These findings are nearly unchanged from April just after the framework of the deal was announced,” the survey says.

Voters are also skeptical about Iran honoring the terms of the deal: 60 percent think it’s unlikely Iran will comply. There are also concerns about the effectiveness of the deal, in the meantime. Only 22 percent believe the treaty will make the Middle East safer; 42 percent think it will put the region more at risk. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on July 14-15.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Stremmel House, built in 1995 on nine acres on 1,000-foot peak over Reno, Nevada. Five bedrooms, seven baths, 360-degree views; 6,515 square feet of custom living space includes loft, library, great room, guest suite. Open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, plaster and exposed steel beam interior, extensive glass walls, poured concrete counters in gourmet kitchen, indoor aviary, kennel, lap pool, patios, “desert” interior color palette, primary red and yellow exterior, named Architectural Record’s “House of the Year.” Priced at $5.48 million through StremmelHouse.com.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of Americans say being “honest” does not describe Hillary Rodham Clinton; 31 percent disagree.

61 percent say being “inspiring” does not describe Mrs. Clinton; 37 percent disagree.

58 percent say being “compassionate” does not describe Mrs. Clinton; 40 percent say it does.

58 percent say being “likeable” does not describe Mrs. Clinton; 41 percent disagree.

50 percent say being “decisive” does not describe Mrs. Clinton; 47 percent disagree.

49 percent say being “competent” does not describe Mrs. Clinton; 48 percent say it does.

49 percent have an unfavorable impression of Hillary Rodham Clinton; 39 percent have a favorable impression.

Source: An AP/GFK poll of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted July 9-13.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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